I am happy to report that our financial and operational performance in FY 2016-17 wascommendable in a challenging business environment. Our focus on delivery and growthcontinued to yield results in what was a difficult year for the sector where we operate.Our Company generated PBDIT of Rs. 5018 lakh for the year. Our strong balance sheet andconservative financial profile is reflected through our strong credit rating.
It was yet another difficult year for the global economy characterized by low growthand geopolitical uncertainties. In India rural demand continued to be sluggish in theearly part of the year. The overall market showed signs of recovery in the latter half ofthe year but faced a temporary slowdown in November due to demonetization. India is on thegrowth path.
I believe that the forthcoming year holds promise of improvement as far as investmentmomentum is concerned. The Government's focus on a slew of recent initiatives like makein India Smart cities. Railways Irrigation highway projects water revitalizationrural and urban development affordable housing projects housing to all by 2022 focusingon improving rural infrastructure aiming for a smooth flow of agriculture credit andfunding under various irrigation schemes and other growth-stimulating infrastructureplaces your company in a favorable position. We are future-ready to capitalizeontheemerging opportunities.
The introduction of GST is a significant reform measure and will overtime help India insimplifying tax structure and compliance aligning it with practices in developedcountries.
By virtue of our engagement in the core sectors of the economy - agricultureinfrastructure and construction our businesses make a unique contribution to the growthand development aspirations of the nation.
A sharp focus on marketing our vibrant customer relationship coupled with continuinginvestments in R&D is the mantra to ACE next level of growth. The Company believes inproviding products suitable to the market requirements. R&D is providing the impetusto take forward this mindset. Our dedicated R&D Centers have sharpened our focus onvarious innovative product categories and helped us launch new products that are in tunewith customer needs. We are alive to the realities of technological challenges. OurR&D teams are working on all these areas to ensure that ACE always remains theforefront of innovation and keep breaking new paths in customer satisfaction.
Our Social Responsibility and Sustainability efforts continue to win us laurels. Weundertake these with same beliefs and conviction as we do our commercial activities. Whatmakes us different from others is that we have made these efforts intrinsic to ourcommercial activity or strategy and not something that we are forced to do by regulatorymandate.
We invested in creating capacities and expanding our manufacturing base products andproduct support network. This was done to be able to cater to demand as it picked up.
In the year 2017-18 we will continue to strive to set higher benchmarks of performanceand strengthen our engagement with our stakeholders. Our strategy is in place to buildstronger partnerships among our suppliers and dealers broaden our distribution networkand expand our coverage to maximize reach. We are working towards cost optimization leanprocesses and proficient operations to enhance our profitability.
We are looking forward to continue on our mission of generating sustainable value forour stakeholders. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation to the Board ofDirectors for their guidance. I would like to express my gratitude to all our stakeholdersfor their continuing faith in ACE.
With best wishes.
Chairman and Managing Director